2014: The Most Over-Hyped, Disappointing Year on Record

Heading into this year, expectations were through the roof, and it's fair to say that the games haven't delivered...yet.
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Toward the end of 2013, I remember saying to myself, “I can’t remember more excitement for a coming year.”

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Given the lineup, it seemed inevitable that 2014 would be the single greatest year gaming has ever seen. Perhaps even capable of surpassing the legendary 1998 (look up the list of releases that year and prepare to be amazed), 2014 was primed to shine. Not one, but two new consoles were on the market, the industry had been suffering from “generational fatigue” for at least several years, and developers were champing at the bit. It was long past time to take the next step.

And yet, here we sit in mid-September, amid a series of disappointing titles and a slew of delays. Yeah, I’d say this is without question the most disappointing, over-hyped year in the history of the industry. And I’ve been playing since the Atari days, by the way.

Have you checked Metacritic or GameRankings?

By now, given the schedule, one would’ve expected to see quite a few games with average 9+ scores. Again, it seemed inevitable. But thus far, the highest-scoring games of this year are reworked titles from last year (such as The Last Of Us: Remastered and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition), along with games like Rayman Legends, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster. I’ll be the first to defend such releases because in point of fact, a great product is a great product. But really, we expected a lot more out of 2014.

The only other game to flirt with a Metascore of 9 this year was Dark Souls II, while hugely anticipated titles like inFamous: Second Son and Titanfall didn’t make it. In fact, no game that we’d dub “next-gen” has secured those lofty review scores. Many figured the recently released Destiny would stop that disappointing trend but instead, it seems we’ve gone backward, as it’s averaging in the high 7s, and most of the major sources don’t really like it at all.

Delays certainly haven’t helped, either

From The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to Battlefield: Hardline to Batman: Arkham Knight, many of the year’s most promising games were pushed into 2015. For a while there, you couldn’t go a week without hearing about another delay. This only proved to me that despite all the promising hype, developers just weren’t quite ready to unveil certain projects. The Order: 1886 might be a perfect example of a new IP with massive potential that needed more time to cook before unveiling. It’s a good thing we were able to keep games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, which only got pushed into November.

I never get too annoyed with delays, mostly because there’s always plenty to play and I’ve typically got a lot on my plate. I think everyone does if they’re an avid gamer; there are just so many titles available at any given time. But I’m realizing that I’m really only playing digital games and upgraded versions of older productions. In fact, that’s just about all I’ve done in 2014 and as Destiny doesn’t really appeal to me at all, that hasn’t changed.

The year isn’t over yet, though…redemption could be nigh!

I suppose if we’re being optimistic, we can look at the holiday season: Call of Duty: Advanced WarfareThe Evil WithinDragon Age: InquisitionFar Cry 4Middle Earth: Shadows of MordorDriveclub, Hyrule WarriorsAlien: Isolation and two new Assassin’s Creed titles (Unity for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and Rogue for PS3 and Xbox 360) could save the year. I’m really hoping they do, too, because right now, 2014 is shaping up to be an infamous year. At this rate, 2015 appears to be far more promising, what with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s EndThe Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, BloodborneThe Order: 1886, etc.

Cross your fingers.

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A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.